Good morning all,
Normally on a Saturday I'd do a video preview but sadly the Premier Inn's wi-fi drops out that much it's near impossible to upload anything! Not a good start to the day. Hoping it improves and indeed is better than yesterday's blowout, where most of what I liked ran like drains.
Anyway, we have the National and a good card to get stuck into – regulars will notice one of my “to follow” horses going in the second at a big price, and I'm hoping we can get him in the frame at worst. Read on, and good luck….
It does rather look like Debece has been saved for this after running a stormer in the G1 last year and the ground should be absolutely fine for him after routing a field on it at Newbury prior to that. Never easy winning a big handicap after an absence but I can’t believe he’ll have been left short of fitness and he’d be my number 1 pick. Maybe Red Indian, who has been just a little bit disappointing for Ben Pauling, might be about to turn things around after a staying-on sixth in the Coral Cup and he rated the danger.
No surprises to hear I’m very keen on Euxton Lane. He’s going to be top of my “to follow” lists next year when he tackles fences but for now, he’s improving quickly and tackles this G1 tough contest rather than the handicap earlier in the week. Take the hint and, with the ground absolutely perfect for him, have an e/w bet at the 20’s available.
I’m a big Black Op fan as well but the lack of Tom George winners is a worry. Nevertheless, he too is going to make a smashing chaser next year and he was the only one to make Samcro do anything like a bit of work at Cheltenham. If all was well with the yard, he’d be the likeliest winner, but I’m excited to see how Euxton Lane can get on in this sort of company.
This does look a bit of a gimme if Petit Mouchoir can jump round and whilst that isn’t a given, I suspect his jumping won’t come under that much pressure here. I do like Lady Buttons and she’s an out-an-out 2 miler, so this should be ideal. She jumps well and if there are chinks in PM’s armour, she’s most likely to expose them.
For a fairly big-field handicap, I’m struggling to find much in the way of pace here and it could be that Thomas Patrick is allowed a pretty easy time of it on the front. That could spell danger for the rest of them, as he’s an improving chaser that stays further than this, jumps well in the main and has no problem on the ground. He looks the most likely winner to me.
Same comments apply to Rocklander as Black Op – I’d fancy him more if the yard were having a few winners but he looks rock solid (sorry…) to run his race too, and would be the small saver.
And another – The World’s End, a winner here last year, continues the Tom George theme. The trick might be to see if one of the earlier ones can get on the board, or if they both run well, that would be fine. The ground is a concern – he acts on it, but he’s better on genuinely good ground – but even so, this looks a bit easier than some of the tasks he’s faced. Hard to back him at present, it’s a sit and wait job, and even then, just a small bet.
I’d love to see Coole Cody go well at a big price – this is a big step up on what he’s done so far but he revelled in bad ground at Cheltenham and trainer Michael Blake remains one of the most underrated trainers. He’s not one to call his geeses swans and maybe he’ll go better than his odds imply, with this step up in trip likely to suit.
And so to the big one. I’ve done the Pinstickers Guide and so you know my feelings on most of them, but this ground brings some of the proper shipping containers into this – Raz De Maree, Chase The Spud and possibly Captain Redbeard will all benefit from it and it’s not hard to see Raz De Maree plugging into the frame now. I’m sticking with Ucello Conti but I really wish it wasn’t as deep as it is, but he will act on it and I can see him being well backed this morning. Has obviously been laid out for this and with luck, should go close.
Of the rags, Double Ross is growing on me – no weight to carry, has experience of the fences and won’t mind the ground. That was a better effort in the Kim Muir and if he can just build on that a bit, could go okay at a price.
Not sure the ground is what The Last Samuri wants, so I’ll pass him over despite the fact I thought he wasn’t quite spot on at Cheltenham last time and thought that would bring him on a bit. Probably wins half the track now…
Today’s selection – Euxton Lane 2,20 Aintree
Good luck with all your bets this weekend,